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ABSTRACT Profitable gold mining began in the United States with the accidental discovery in 1799 of a seventeen-pound gold nugget in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. North Carolina’s gold production peaked between the 1830s and 1840s as hundreds of mines contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to the national economy, necessitating the 1837 construction of a federal Branch Mint in Charlotte to process Piedmont gold. Gold mining suffered a major decline in North Carolina after the discovery of the richer and more extensive gold deposits in California in 1848. However, the North Carolina gold miners who did not join the western rush continued to work the shafts of the Piedmont using increasingly sophisticated European and South American technology, as well as new innovations such as hydraulic mining techniques from California, until the advent of the Civil War. From the end of Reconstruction (1877) to 1920, gold mining in North Carolina was sporadic and often funded by outside investors or used as a ruse in gold and stock scams. Copper mining, with gold and silver as secondary products, using increasingly complex technology and associated environmental issues, drove most of the mining fervor during this period. Following the Great Depression of the 1930s, gold production slowly increased until the Second World War, but never became a major industry as they were out-competed by the more profitable gold fields in the western United States, Alaska, Canada, Australia, and South Africa. From the 1970s to today, dependent upon the price of gold in the market and the requirements of environmental regulation, prior mining districts in North (and South) Carolina have continued to be examined, explored and cautiously mined using cyanide heap leach techniques. Although few in number, these limited lease mining projects have extracted over two million troy ounces of gold and nearly a million troy ounces of silver by 2010. Future extraction by the ongoing Haile Mine (South Carolina) project will increase this amount substantially in the next decade. Nevertheless, Cabarrus County continues to hold the world’s record for producing the greatest number of large (a pound or more) gold nuggets and was the epicenter of North America’s first gold rush.


ABSTRACT This is the second essay of a two-part series on the life and collecting activities of Albert Koch. After Koch traveled to England where he sold his Missourium to the British Museum, the American mastodon that now stands in the Natural History Museum of London, he then went to his homeland in Germany. Koch left his family in Dresden, when he again departed for the United States to pursue some additional paleontological adventures. Following several weeks of travel, he arrived in Alabama where he excavated the remains of a large, archaeocete whale, that he named the Hydrarchos. Koch displayed the skeleton in New York, and several other eastern cities before taking it to Europe. When in Berlin, Koch was able to sell the skeleton to King Friedrich Wilhelm IV of Prussia who placed it in the Royal Museum. Soon thereafter, Koch returned to the United States and Alabama to discover a second whale skeleton. He took this skeleton to Europe where it was exhibited in several cities but, having received no offers, Koch returned with his second Hydrarchos to the United States where it was initially displayed in New Orleans, then St. Louis, and eventually Chicago. In his later years, Koch turned his attention to the Academy of Science of St. Louis where he became an active member and curator, as well as a prospector for minerals. This essay examines the final chapters of Koch’s life and his entrepreneurial showmanship tendencies versus contributions he may have made to science. This narrative is a sequel to an article published in Volume 41 Number 2 of Earth Sciences History that focused on Albert Koch’s Missourium. Together, the two essays capture the life and career of Albert C. Koch.


ABSTRACT In the summer of 1838, Arnold Guyot was asked by Louis Agassiz to gather information on Alpine glaciers, with the aim of reporting their findings in September, at the annual gathering of the French Geological Society. Guyot’s observations of the internal structure of the ice and interpretations on glacier movements, reported orally at the conference, were new to science. Unfortunately, because of purported illness, Guyot did not send his manuscript to be published and missed his first opportunity to be recognized as a pioneer in glacier studies. During the years 1841 to 1847, Guyot published a series of notes, detailing results of his field work in tracing erratic blocks in the central Alpine region, in the Alpine foreland and in the Jura Mountains. The level of detail in his work was unprecedented and has not been replicated since. Recognizing that erratic blocks of similar lithology could be followed along organized paths of deposition, Guyot could invalidate those theories that sought to explain their deposition by chaotic means, such as floods, debacles or drifting icebergs loaded with rock debris. Only moraines, composed of material transported by glaciers, could explain the mapped arrangements of erratic blocks. Geological proofs for extensive glaciations in central Europe had just been found, and Guyot could demonstrate them on his hand-drawn map. But, in 1848, a revolution broke out in Neuchâtel. The local academy where Guyot was engaged as a professor shut down and all staff were left without pay. Answering a call from Agassiz who had emigrated to the USA in 1846, Guyot departed Switzerland and joined his friend there in the fall of 1848. In his luggage were all the papers on his unfinished project, including his map, and a full collection of erratic rock specimens. After arrival in the USA, Guyot had to begin a new professional life and could not devote significant attention to the subject of erratic blocks. In 1849, he showed his map of the erratic basins of Switzerland and discussed his results with various members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); he also shared his novel ideas about the climatic conditions required for the formation of large glaciers; however, he did not formally publish the results of his work in the Alps, and he thus lost his second opportunity for wider peer recognition and for driving the acceptance of the glacial theory. Only in 1874, 26 years after his arrival in the USA and a year after Agassiz’s death, did Guyot open his boxes of alpine rock specimens and display his unpublished map in the Museum of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), where he was engaged as a professor. In 1883, at age 77, his memory of the unpublished 1838 report on glaciers was still in his conscience which finally pushed him to submit it for printing at Neuchâtel. It passed largely unnoticed, however, and Guyot died one year later without recognition attached to his name for his original, innovative work. This paper reviews Guyot’s work and analyses his relationship with Agassiz while both were working in Neuchâtel. It seeks to evaluate his pioneering work on glaciers and on erratic blocks. It includes a copy of Guyot’s map of the erratic basins of Switzerland, kept to this day in the archives of Princeton University.